Wallace H. Hanlon

Wallace H. Hanlon

September 05, 1930 - May 26, 2012

Wallace H. Hanlon

September 05, 1930 - May 26, 2012


Wallace Homer Hanlon
Sept 5, 1930 May 26, 2012

Born: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Parents: Homer and Ada (Harper) Hanlon

Wally grew up in Batavia, Illinois where his parents ran a small business. He was six years old when brother Paul was born and age 8 when Robert (Bob) Hanlon arrived.

In high school, he was a football running back, track sprinter, and a member of the basketball team.

Wally attended the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana where he was a member of the Psi Upsilon Fraternity, and met his future wife, Sue. He graduated in 1952 in time to fulfill his military ROTC obligation. He spent one year at Fort Devens, Massachusetts, and one year in Korea, breaking code for American military intelligence.

He came back in September 1954 to ask Sue to marry him. Their wedding was January 1955. Shortly after they returned to the University of Illinois for Wally’s degree in aeronautical engineering.

In 1957, the young couple went to San Diego for Wally’s position with Convair Division of General Dynamics. Two years later with their first child, Kevin, in tow, they moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana, for a position with ITT. After seven years, the young family now with 3 children (adding Mitch and only daughter Tracy) headed back to California with McDonnell Douglas in Huntington Beach. In December 1969, their youngest son, Chip, was born.

At Douglas, Wally worked on MOL (Manned Orbiting Laboratory) and later came the SkyLab project where he worked closely with many of our astronauts. He designed the film vault that went up with SkyLab. People remember when it dropped back down to earth several years later.

Wally had always liked business, and for 12 years owned Spring Crest Custom Drapery franchises in Orange County. After that he went back to Douglas for a few years.
He liked being busy and continued to work. He was currently employed part time as a sales executive with Perfectex in Huntington Beach.

Wally was a devoted husband of 57 years to Sue. He was loving father to Kevin, Mitch, Tracy and Chip. He adored spending time with his 7 grandchildren, Kirby, Courtney,
Josh, Julia, Jacob, Levi, and Phoebe. He was a man of active faith and was a member of First Christian Church Huntington Beach for over 40 years

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24 responses to Wallace H. Hanlon

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  1. To Sue & Family,
    I think that we have known you longer than any of our friends- even before we were married. Charlie first met Wally while working at McDonnell Douglas in 1966. In 69 the MOL program ended but our friendship continued with social “happenings” attending community playhouses with the O’Neals. You also provided us with a baby sitter. Such wonderful memories. Our friendship and theatre going has remained for over 45 years. We also have vivid memories of Wally riding his bicycle around the area and sometimes stopping by our house for a little rest and political discussion.
    The enclosed picture was taken at Charlie’s 70 birthday party at the end of April, where Wally “volunteered” to take the video. Margaret & Charlie

  2. Mitch says:

    Pics of Dad with his youngest brother, Bob.

  3. Mitch says:

    4 files added to the tribute wall

  4. Wally was my sales representative at Perfectex for many years, and although I never met him, I considered him a good friend. He was a very intelligent man, and as an engineer, I enjoyed numerous conversations with him. He was so proud of his family, and a wonderful gentleman. – Keith at BiaCare.

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